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The Kudlow Report

News/Business. Larry Kudlow. Larry Kudlow provides his unique perspective on business, politics and investing. New.

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Sandy 12, Wisconsin 11, Pennsylvania 10, New York 9, Obama 9, Chris Christie 8, Us 7, Washington 6, New Jersey 6, New York City 5, Michigan 5, Michelle 5, Boston 4, Iowa 4, Barack Obama 4, Keith Boykins 4, Manhattan 4, Costa 3, West Virginia 3, Connecticut 3,
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  CNBC    The Kudlow Report    News/Business. Larry Kudlow. Larry Kudlow provides his  
   unique perspective on business, politics and investing. New.  

    October 31, 2012
    7:00 - 8:00pm EDT  

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let's go over it. annie's. i think that stock is going to go much higher over time. pvh, a terrific story. i know i'm not going to tell you to buy something up 19 points. tanger, good over time, which leaves eaton. buy it even up here. i'm jim cramer. see you tomorrow. hey, larry, what are you looking at tonight? >> thanks, jimmy. superstorm sandy is winding down, but the effects linger. i'm larry kudlow, this is a special edition of "the kudlow report." sandy, the road to recovery. >> while sandy is almost gone, she's not forgotten, as the east coast starts the healing process. >> in sandy's wake, towns destroyed. homes under water. millions without power.
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but today, wall street is back to business, and the pivotal election is just days away. tonight, cnbc assesses the damage and looks ahead to rebuilding. sandy, road to recovery, a special edition of "the kudlow report." here's what we know two days after the killer storm called sandy hit the northeast. u.s. death toll is now at least 64. a second new york city hospital, bellevue, has been evacuated because of power and flooding issues. >> lower manhattan still a crippled zone. the markets were able to open today, but there's still flooding damage down there and also very dark streets. >> so in the metropolitan area, the recovery is a struggle. the availability of electricity to run the traffic lights, pump the gasoline, is now prime need. 6.1 million utility customers are still without power.
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individuals and businesses alike. >> public transportation slowly coming back online. some subway services in the city, some commuter lines in new jersey, westchester, and long island will run tomorrow. >> commuters coming into the city by car must have three people in each car after 6:00 a.m. >> and the airports are opening, but it's difficult to get there. delta, a key operator in the northeast hopes to start flights from laguardia tomorrow. >> the rebuilding does begin, but problems persist. let's get right to our team coverage, starting with scott cohn in lower manhattan. good evening, scottie. >> they got the first day of trading in without a hitch, and that in itself is an accomplishment. but in many ways, things are about to get more complicated. they're still pumping water out of this city and there's still almost no power in the lower part of manhattan. and then there's the issue of getting around. no subway service, of course. if you want to drive in from the suburbs or the outer bureaus, you're going to have to car pool
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because there are restrictions. and then there's the whole issue of gas. it is not easy to come by. my colleague has that part of the story. brian? >> reporter: it's after 7:00 p.m. here in new hyde park, long island, and we are talking 30, 35 minutes, hour-long wait just to get gas. we shot video just before dark to give you an impression of what's going on. the first question you might ask is why do they need gas. 80% of long island is without power. they need gas to refuel their generators. they need gas to drive around and look for food. they need gas to charge their phones. it's not just out here in long island. take a look at this picture from new jersey. just incredible lines. that's the demand side. the supply side there are problems at the refinery levels. there are problems at the distribution levels. the station i am at right now was one of the few lucky ones that got a delivery of 7,500
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gallons around 4:00 p.m. eastern time, and the one across the street has 3,000 gallons completely sold out. it did not get a delivery and that's why the lines have gotten longer here and tempers have flared a little bit as people really need this gas. that's it from here on the gas situation in long island. let's go to bertha coombs. >> reporter: six million people now along the eastern seaboard are still without power. that is down from a peak of about 8.5 million. new york and new jersey still have more than two million customers apiece that are without power. especially slow progress in new york and new york city. con-edison restored power to customers today. the stoplights were working. but the quarter million customers without power in lower manhattan will likely be in the dark through friday. more than half a million customers in the garden states saw the lights come back on this afternoon.
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pseng says it will take seven to ten days to get everyone back online in. the meantime, they may bring in generators to help restore high-rise customers in urban areas. in connecticut, about 475,000 still in the dark tonight. power restored to 350,000 customers since monday night. in pennsylvania, 850,000 still without power. ttnl electric expects power to be restored by 11:00 p.m. in friday. throe thousand in the dark in maryland, that is down from 365,000 at the peak. we'll see if laguardia is going to open tomorrow. courtney reagan has detailed on that. >> i'm here at laguardia. the port authority has just announced that it will, in fact, open with limited flight schedules tomorrow. laguardia will be the last of new york's three major airports to open in the aftermath of hurricane sandy. take a look at the scene just this morning. you can see the tarmac still
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flooded the water tr tfrom the surrounding bays up to the jet bridges. laguardia has brought planes to the gates. this picture that we took just a couple hours ago shows two american airlines parked here, something that was largely impossible just a few hours before. while jfk and newark did reopen this morning, they are still much slower than normal operating capacity. delta says it's only at about 50% of a normal schedule out of jfk and it is considerably harder to get those employees to jfk and newark, some 59,000 employees having a much harder time getting there with body service, if any, from new york and new jersey mass transit. now jay gray, over to you in new jersey. >> reporter: and the situation is still dire here as well. we've been talking about how rough a go it is. look behind me and you can see what i'm talking about. we've got emergency personnel that keeps streaming in and out
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over this bridge, all throughout the day and into the night. when the day started, they thought they had 50,000 people that tried to ride out the storm. today they pulled out at least 400, expect that there are more still trapped over there, so they're continuing to work through the night, getting back to the homes over there for families who have been here waiting anxious to see if sandy left anything behind. well, that's not going to happen any time soon. officials telling us that it won't happen until this weekend. that's the earliest and likely sometime next week. they also stressed that once families are allowed to go back inside, they'll be there for the day, but will have to get out at night because it's still just too dangerous. >> thank you, jay. from the planes to the rails, let's get an update on the trains. joining me, amtrak's media relations manager. good to have you here. how soon before we start seeing the corridor from washington, d.c. to new york city up and running again? >> well, michelle and larry,
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we're working on it and we have some optimism for friday, but as for tomorrow, the good news we have is service from new haven up to boston and more service from newark down to baltimore and philadelphia and washington. we're going to build on what we did today. stop with newark. we're going to add service from new haven up and working with our partners in the commuter agencies and others, we have some hope for some service in new york come friday. >> mark, principally the flooding, is that still the big deal? >> sure, it's all about the tunnels, larry. it's about getting the water pumped out of the tunnels, and it's a brackish water. there's salt water in it. we have the make sure that we get the water out. we have to make sure the systems are working. but we're pretty optoptimistic. there were people hunched over tables with pens and paper and charts trying to figure out how we can make this happen. once we have a plan for service to and from new york city from boston down and from washington
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up, we'll certainly announce it sometime tomorrow. >> so when you say friday, that's only partial service, it's regionals that so many take in order to get down to washington, especially because laguardia isn't available right now so you can't take the shuttle either. when you say friday, what does that mean? >> well, we're looking at different mixes of equipment. some people who might be expecting to get on a regional train will wind up on a southern train. it won't be the full range of services or northeast regionals, but we'll put as much service into as much of this corridor as we can on friday and just keep building from there through the weekend this we get everything back. >> mark, i know you've invested a lot into the asella trains. does this have any adverse impact on those cars? >> oh no, those trains are high and dry and in safekeeping until we can deploy them. we deployed some of them nay regional service.
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we'll deploy more of them and build finally a northeast regional service from boston all the way down and with a mixture of equipment. we'll be happy to announce it and happy to come here on cnbc and give you a little bit of good news. >> all right, thanks. we appreciate it. >> we both resisted criticizing amtrak through that whole interview, right? pretty good. you saw it here. >> i was worried about the cars. the cars. millions are still without power. up next, we're going to ask one power company how much longer the lights are going to be out and exactly what they're doing to make things right.
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let's continue our team coverage of hurricane sandy and its aftermath. nbc's own brian williams is in point pleasant beach, new jersey. hi, brian, good evening. >> larry, good evening, from room 205 of the white sands motel, point pleasant beach. you know those tom bodet commercials, they promise you a clean, comfortable room. normally at no charge, you get eight-foot ceilings here. but this is what sand has done to this motel room, as we come
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through the nonexistent window. this motel and all the others like it on the jersey shore -- look, this was never a four seasons. it stretches at one or two seasons. but it's part of the classic jersey shore experience. and for all of the families who have come here and made a home here and grown up here, my own inclauded, it's part of what you get. and it's part of what's missing now. we've been covering this story largely from the studio the last two days until we came down here, surveyed some property today, went to some well-known haunts. and i've been using the expression sandy redrew the map of the jersey shore. well, we saw that today. there are inlets, larry and michelle, that did not exist a few days ago. the rivers now meet the ocean. it's going to change local tide tables and navigational charts. we're just getting our arms around it. we were among the first few on a
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beach today looking at houses that are gone. neighbors that are gone. gas lines are open. it's a terribly scary atmosphere. they don't have their arms around it yet. but that's what we've been talking about during our coverage of this storm. >> brian, i grew up as a kid in deal, new jersey, right on the water towards the west end. it was right off ocean avenue. is this storm just taking that all out, going all the way up north and west? is that what's happened too? >> you know, i know it very well. long branch got hit very hard. the boardwalk there. spring lake got hit very hard. i haven't heard about deale. president garfield died if a house this close to the beach overlooking the water. but all of these communities are in the same spot. it mattered your prok sim t eed
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the hotel. saw i house today on market valued at $15 million torn to shreds and now it will be sold for a plot of property on the beach. >> did we learn enough from katrina? it seems that people did evacuate, but we didn't have the same problems post-katrina that we did last time in terms of people getting to safety ahead of the storm. from your observation, do you think that's accurate? >> i think all of our professional forecasters -- boy, did they get the right. a week out, they knew this tropical system was going to explode, the way it did take this left hook into new jersey. it has been katrina-esque. the man holding the camera, dwyane scott, was with me in new orleans overnight for that storm. for weeks thereafter, we've been talking about it nonstop today. we may have to rethink some of our shoreline rules and
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definitions. we've got governors of three states, christie, malloy, cuomo, those three states are talking about a new shoreline and maybe a new normal. maybe we need our folks at the weather channel to tell us, is this a 200-year storm or the start of 200 years worth of storms like this. >> is there a spirit of rebuilding here? do you hear frit the locals? have you been talking to some of the people there? do they want to roll up their sleeves, hard, painful, emotional as it is and rebuild? >> well, larry, i can only quote a fellow local, and that's chris christie, a governor who if you do what i do and still take your family to the boardwalk on weekends and seaside, point pleasant, it's a very good chance you'll see the governor of your state with his family as his parents took them there, because it's special to us, and he was saying he can't speak for all the privately owned places like this, a lot of
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the jersey shore, a lot of the boardwalks are a private concern. but boy, he wants to come back. this is part of the beating heart, the economic engine of the state of new jersey on down through delaware, maryland, on up through new york and new england. it's hard to imagine the east coast without a beach. the east coast without the jersey shore. >> brian, you're absolutely right. thank you, great reporting. don't forget, you can see him tonight. is there any way power companies can keep their six million customers living in the dark satisfied with their service? president obama spoke to our next guest yesterday from the situation room about how to eliminate any bureaucratic roadblocks that delay the power restoration effort. here now is tom coombs.
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you're regulated at the local, state, and federal level. the prices you charge are regulated. the terms of your service are regulated. your construction plans are regulated. your investments are regulated. do all of those facts when i put them together with year after year we see americans living for a whole week without power, are they connected? >> well, i think the u.s. utility industry invests some $20 billion a year in the transition thing. we do have to get approval from regulators, but the regulators have been very understanding and the need to keep reliable service, which is issue number one, but you can build the best electric system, which we have, but something like hurricane sandy comes along with extended winds that knock down power lines, with title surges that go into the tunnels in new york, with major two feet of snow out in west virginia. and it's going to create --
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>> sir, i don't believe that. so many residents who live in areas that don't see a lot of damage, but are living without power, are asking why is it that an advanced economy do we have to live for more than a week without power? and i'm looking at your industry and thinking this is one of the most heavily regulated government intervened industries in the country and those two facts are not connected? >> they're not connected, because basically you cannot stop hurricane sandy from knocking down power lines. and from bringing water into the underground tunnels in new york where we have underground equipment. or creating major snowstorms out in west virginia. we've had everything but the locu locusts in this situation and we've brought in 60,000 -- 60,000 people have left their homes from as far away from california and all around the country to come east here to sit in staging areas throughout the storm to get together, to help to try and bring power back on.
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they're the unsung heroes. i don't know of any other industry that does that. >> what about these substations, which apparently are going to be a big problem. when can they get cleared up so the power can flow? >> that's another thing. when substation gets flooded, like anything else, the water has to be pumped out. you talked about in terms of the amtrak situation or the subways in new york, you've got to get the water out there. water and electricity don't go well together, so we've got to get the water pumped out. we've got to get that equipment cleaned up and restored, and we're just going around the clock to do it. >> i just want to comment on this. my colleague michelle asked a tough question. i want to repeat it. do you believe with three layers of regulations that you are afforded a free market investment rate of return on your equity capital that allows you to modernize and get in the 21st century? do you really believe that? or are you just being political
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because you don't want to upset the governors and/or the white house? >> well, larry, the proof is in the evidence. we invest $20 billion a year in the distribution system, $80 billion a year in the overall utilities system, so money -- >> so why did governor cuomo start dumping on your industry two days ago? you're already going to be in the cross hairs of politicians who are going to look at your industry and complain that you don't respond fast enough. i guarantee you, you're within minutes of hearing from politicians across the northeast. >> well, all i can say is most of them are participating with us and in partnership, and president obama was on -- the call was all over our ceos last nights. he was talking about how we as a partnership, the government is going to try and clear the obstacles. out there where roads and trees are blocking roads so crews can't get in there to restore power. >> what can the federal government do about getting the
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trees out of the road? >> well, they can bring in the national guard along with the governors of the states. fema right now is helping to bring in some equipment to help drive some of the equipment after the water gets pumped out of the tunnels in new york city. there are people everywhere. we've got an army of people out there work on this. you can criticize if you want to, but i don't know of anybody that is suggesting a way to do it better. >> it isn't a technical thing. it isn't the actual -- you know, the men, the hard hats and stuff. i've seen them up in connecticut. it's just the thought, tom, that in this day and age, 2012, trees are still falling on power lines, and that is paralyzing a third of the state of connecticut. trees shouldn't fall on power lines in october, november of 2012. somehow there's got to be a better way to do this. it just seems like i'm using a typewriter instead of a personal
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computer or an ipad. >> and when i read that our power grid is antiquated and dated by, you know, decades, that's not true? >> go anywhere else in the world, you'll see that it's not true, michelle. >> well, we're number one in the world. >> we are number one in the world. and if you want to -- some people say go underground. we are undergrounding a lot more of our lines. but you can talk new york where we've undergrounded in new york city. the water went in there and it's caused a bigger problem for us. >> we're going to leave it there. tom kuhn, thank you very much. >> he was a good sport, wasn't it? >> he was a very good sport. >> i think he was being political, too. wall street was back in action today. everything you need to know to be ready for tomorrow's trading day. that's next. those surprising little things she does
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ejm services. we know about home depot and lowe's did very well today. you've got the generator battery company. you've got crawford and company, that's insurance claims. system of these things went up 20%. this is the sandy play in wall street terms and i'm going to ask you how long it continues. >> well, it's interesting, because two things come into play. so what i'm looking at is eagle materials, lumber at the chicago mercantile exchange. i can tell you with conviction that they believe they're going to sell a lot of lumber and dry wall and with that comes labor. you get the housing rebound and the rebuilding project from sandy when you look at those material names like exp and usg. >> how about you, mr. la camp.
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i call you that because you're both jim. are you thinking longer term? >> well, i like these names. they were doing well before the storm. you look at names like sherwin williams. these are companies that were doing very well before the refi boom. i do agree that these stocks could have a wind in their sails for three or four months. but the headwind is beginning to be the market itself. the market itself does not look like it really wants to do much in here. there's a lot of uncertainty, it was driven by the fed, it was driven by earnings, the global economy. all of these cylinders are starting to misfire, so it could become more of a market issue for these stocks. >> you can be sure when my friend jim gives you a bearish rip, i've seen this now for about ten or 11 years. i do want to ask you, more common place.
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what about earnings risk? what about election risk? what about tax hikes, fiscal cliff risk. what do you do here? we're in november. we don't have much time. how do you play this? >> with election risk, which i think is big. that's going to be a certainty a week from today. and i'm not ready to call the gop and conservatives a win. i think it's getting close. and if it does, remember that banks might be a nice play because there will be less sabre rattling. they won't be using political football as much. i like the home builder as well. i like the stock market. i think things are going to be solved sooner than later. >> final word, mr. la camp. >> well, i agree. if the republicans win, if mitt romney wins, there's going to be some optimism, enthusiasm, maybe a quicker fix to the fiscal cliff, and we have a rally that could last through january. but then we've got longer term problems that he can't fix overnight, and then the market is going to run into some new
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headwinds. >> thank you to the two jims. coming up, this storm could have a huge impact on the presidential election. you might be surprised at which candidate this storm is hurting more. please stay with us. when you take a closer look... ...at the best schools in the world... ...you see they all have something very interesting in common. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... ...so they can inspire our students. let's solve this.
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the massive recovery efforts are under way, but one lingering impact from sandy could be on politicians. eamonn is in washington with the latest. >> it was a bit of an unexpected political bromance today on the jersey shore as president barack obama and new jersey governor chris christie toured hurricane damage in some of the hard-hit areas there. a little bit unexpected today, given that chris christie gave the keynote address at the republican convention against the president last summer. none of that political animosity on display today. both men said that they talked about everything from restoring power to clean drinking and sewage water in the area. >> i discussed all those issues today with the president and i'm pleased to report that he has sprung into action immediately to help get us those things while we were in the car riding together. so i want to thank him for that.
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he has worked incredibly closely with me since before the storm hit. >> governor christie throughout process has been responsive, he's been aggressive, i think the people of new jersey recognize that he has put his heart and soul into making sure that the people of new jersey bounce back. >> and larry, i asked the folks on the romney campaign what they made of chris christie's political bear hug here of president barack obama this week. they said this is just a governor doing what a governor should do, and in a disaster, nobody is thinking about politics. but of course, you can't separate politics entirely from all of this. remember that chris christie could be facing a tough re-election battle in 2013, and in a democratic leaning state, a little bipartisan patina might do chris christie some good in 2013. lar larry, back to you. >> i totally agree with what you just said. before sandy, romney was on
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a roll topping president obama in poll after poll. but in the wake of the devastating superstorm, did sandy stall romney's momentum? here now are keith boykins and robert costa, jonathan colegio. mr. costa, i go to you on the conservative side. i think that barack obama did himself a lot of good. >> barack obama has had a decent week because he's been presidential in handling of this crisis in new jersey and new york. but ha we still see from the romney campaign is he's competitive in pennsylvania. he's competitive in ohio. he's trying harder. did it shake up the narrative, sure, but it's a very close race. >> my pal keith boykins on the other side of the coin. it looks to me like romney has gone behind enemy lines. he's parachuting behind enemy lines in pennsylvania and in michigan and in wisconsin and in iowa. he could be in trouble, keith.
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>> pennsylvania hasn't voted for a republican since 1988, i think. i mean, these are states that barack obama has never trailed in. it shows just how desperate mitt romney is because he can't compete in the swing states. this is a perfect storm that hit mitt romney this week. it showed barack obama as a commander in chief. the gallup poll was knocked off. it was his best poll. it showed the two competing businesses. not only did you have chris christie out there, but you also have bob mcdonnell of west virginia, another republican surrogate, who said the obama administration's response has been incredibly fast. >> i wouldn't go that far. they came in separately and they left separately. but sometimes governors have to do what governors do and presidents have to do what presidents do. i get that. and i think for the moment, your man probably got some. john, i want to ask you, i've been reading in the newspapers -- you correct me if i'm wrong.
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your superpack and other republican super packs have put $4 million into pennsylvania. team obama, only $625,000. for $4 million, jonathan, you want a rate of return better than a utility executive. you want to actually win the race in that state. >> we wouldn't be spending the money if we didn't think that there were real opportunities in michigan, pennsylvania, and minnesota, as well as wisconsin. the real measure here of that's going on, you go back to that politico george washington university poll, the most recent one. there was a 13-point advantage for republicans in voter intensity, in voter enthusiasm. that's what's driving this. you don't get within three points in minnesota or pennsylvania on a whim. there's a real momentum toward romney here. that's why the money is coming in. that's why obama is really playing hard defense right now. >> larry, two things to watch in pennsylvania. in the west, you have the coal country. they're very irritated about the obama administration's regulations. and in the east, you have the
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philadelphia suburb philadelphia suburbs. romney is strong with republican voters. if suburban voters flip, romney has a real shot in the keystone state. >> if republicans are always worried about wasteful spending, this is a perfect example of wasteful spending. they don't spend any money in minnesota at all. >> one at a time. >> it's not that long ago. >> 1972 is the last time minnesota voted for a republican. >> i hate to say it, but it was richard nixon. now i've said it. robert costa, i want you to challenge my friend keith boykins. you're saying there's a horse race in michigan, and wisconsin. the numbers in wisconsin look even up. and in iowa, where the liberal des moines register just endorsed romney. so there could be some real
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midwestern upsets, huh? >> the point in wisconsin is true. keith boykins is right. wisconsin was wisconsin was boston by four points. the milwaukee suburbs, they went very strong for scott walker in that recall election this past summer. if that republican ground game is pretty good in wisconsin, for romney, just as for was for walker, he has a shot. >> jonathan, the big banana here is ohio. so people are spinning yarn. maybe these yarns are going to come true. mitt romney can win without winning ohio. how do you see the ohio race, jonathan, and are your -- is your super pack putting dough, big dough into ohio? >> oh, absolutely. and the race is deadlocked there. the voters in the southeastern part of the state are completely hardened against obama because of the war on coal. we'll be waiting up for that one. but there are other paths here, including wisconsin, and including iowa and colorado there. are a lot of different paths for
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romney. people aren't giving him credit. you should go to one of those website and play around with the math because romney has a lot of different paths right now. >> let me just introduce a fact to you. wisconsin, michigan, iowa. three states where president obama has never trailed at any time in the real clear politics ing average. and as for ohio this is another state where obama has never trailed and the real clear politics average -- >> the democrats' lead has shrunk. >> one at a time, one at a time. >> seven polls came out in the last 48 hours. >> but you're under 50. >> obama is leading in every single poll. >> i'll say it at this time. as listening as obama is under 50, then romney has a very good chance in these races. keith boykin, i will tell you this, it may be true that money can't buy love, but money certainly can help in these close political races. i've got to leave it there. keith, robert, jonathan, thank you, gentlemen. up next, even if you don't live in the northeast, this storm
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hurricane sandy has left a devastating trail of destruction along the northeast. some estimates are $50 billion. america will recover and rebuild. here now is the deutsche bank chief u.s. economist. good to see you. >> thank you, michelle, good to be here. >> we've had a couple days to adjust to all of this. what do you think the impact of sandy is on the economy? >> a short term, it's going to negatively empa lly impact reta and may be higher. however, the impact tends to be short-lived where we tend to see a recovery.
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we have to rebuild these homes. so the long-term effect is quite snaul the sense that we usually recover the economic lost output, short-term. >> you recoop the loss. you can't be blowing out bridges and buildings. what i want to know is let me use $50 billion. that's a pretty good round number. don't you think -- and the american spirit, that's what i want to talk about. they're going to rebuild. they're going to reopen. the stores are going to reopen. the factories are going to reopen. people are going to go after these hopes that got so terribly devastated. i think that's going to happen sooner, joe. i think that happens in november, and i'm not even sure the fourth quarter will be hurt by this. >> that could happen. we did see with katrina -- i mean, gdp did get a lift shortly there after katrina. i'm just saying there's going to be some economic reports in the next month that will be soft, reflecting the fact that a large part of the country, where
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there's a lot of economic value added just shut down. i do think they do have a lot of v vital resources. >> we're going to get the employment report on friday. what are you expecting from that? which employment report do we see the effects of this storm? not this one that we're going to get on friday. >> we think the number will be close to trend, which is about 125,000 at the headline. we think the unemployment rate, which has been distorted, goes back up slightly. it is possible, depending on how jobless claims behave over the next few weeks, that the next month's employment report could be softer. but that's a long time away. let's wait and see what friday brings, and watch the weekly claim numbers. >> just to come back to the other point, not in a permanent sense, okay, because i believe in the broken windows here, but let's not go there tonight. >> thank you, larry, thank you.
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>> just thought i'd put that in. but certainly you could run some months where the recovery and the recouping of the losses and the rebuilding does puff up the numbers. maybe it starts in december. maybe it's january and february. but you really could puff up gdp, at least for a couple months. >> it's fairly possible, larry. thankfully, we don't see a lot of crises like these. and even when you talk about a $50 billion type of number, that would put it near andrew and not that far behind katrina. those are the only two episodes we have. it's very hard for macro economists to tease a lot out of these numbers. but i would argue if we get through the election, we could get a lift just because the stock market discounts better growth, and maybe people conflate that with the rebuilding. but the longer term growth outlook is not that bad. >> all right, help is on the way. no question about it. many thanks. coming up next, the fight
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for battleground states heating up. why superstorm sandy could change voters' minds.
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mitt romney turned to the campaign trail today and president obama returns tomorrow. here now is an ace pollster, president and ceo of the terrence group and the bipartisan battleground poll. i want to get that in. in the field before the hurricane, you had romney 51 and obama 46%. that's your voter model. you still think that's going to hold after the hurricane? >> yes. and in fact, one of the thing that's not being discussed much, what we've seen all through september is -- and much of october was obama outspending romney, especially in the battleground states. and in the last couple of days as they've gone more positive on their tv as opposed to negative, and basically more even playing field, you have a candidate, romney, who has actually become more popular, more favorable with the electorate, and i think
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this is actually going to end up benefiting him. and i saw some indication of that in the data. >> why do you think that? today when i saw president obama with governor chris christie, i thought he looked really presidential. it was a great moment for him. he looked deeply in command of a lot of facts about how the federal government could help. i mean, this was no -- you're doing a good job moment. i mean, it was just the opposite. >> doing your job, you'll get a great deal of credit. that's not what's driving this election. that's not what this election is about. you still have obama who is upside down on job recruitment along the economy, upside down on job recruitment on spending and you have mitt romney leading on the economy on spending, on jobs and who can get things done. that's not going to change with a couple of events today. i think what's more important is what's going to happen with those jobs numbers on friday to kind of crystallize this campaign. but the reason why we're seeing the models the way we are, is
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intensity of republicans is so much higher than democrats. that's not going to change with today's event. >> i was stunned, you tell me whether you buy into this or not. gallup ran a poll that says those who already voted, romney is ahead 42 -- i beg your pardon. 52-45. the whole obama strategy, as i understood it, was to get their voters out, then proclaim it and advertise it so they get a tidal wave. gallup says it's romney's early voters who are winning. is that possible? is it accurate? do you buy it? >> i don't know if it's totally accurate from what we're hearing on the ground. that's been the case in colorado. it's been the case in florida. what we are seeing in all the states is that the margin of lead that the democrats traditionally have, number one, is much, much less. for example, ohio is like 13% less in terms of a democratic advantage. but the other thing i'm seeing in terms of the intensity going up in our voters, who have still not voted on the republican
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side, a sign that the democrats are cannibalizing their easy voters. they're highly likely voters to get out to the polls to play this game of who's winning the early vote. >> so who's left in the tank? if they're getting them out early, as you say cannibalizing, who's left in the gasoline tank? >> quite frankly, ohio is a good example. if you look at four by four voters in ohio that voted four of the last four elections, have not taken an absentee ballot vrk not voted, republicans have a 475,000 voter margin. >> so the number that larry said at the top, that's the popular vote overall. when you see romney leading with the popular vote, does it automatically translate into the electoral college and winning there? >> we had actually the poll -- the numbers were even. what that's taking into account is everyone who's voted already and everyone who's extremely likely to vote, it moves to a five-point margin, which is a
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key predictor. in terms of the states, you're still going to see it close. i can tell you i listened to the last discussion about pennsylvania and michigan and ohio and wisconsin. i was involved with all the governors winning in 2010 in those states. i can tell you in ohio, we are even or up by a point. same thing in wisconsin. pennsylvania. i've not seen numbers from my own firm, but certainly have heard about the polling that is showing in closing a great deal. but that's what we expect to see because of the intensity, we're seeing republican voters, the democratic voters across the country, quite frankly. >> so it's going to be some big surprises here. we had keith boykin, very, very bright guy, on the show. and he's for obama. he's saying look, republicans haven't won these midwestern states since richard nixon in
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'72. somebody said '88. >> his past is no guarantee of his future. >> every one of those states won a governor in 2010, with the exception of minnesota, and we barely lost with it the recount. >> they have organization and that's what matters. scott walker. we've got to get out of here. thank you ever so much. that's going to do it for tonight. thanks for watching the special edition of "the kudlow report." back with the full edition tomorrow evening. if we want to improve our schools... ... what should we invest in? maybe new buildings? what about updated equipment? they can help, but recent research shows... ... nothing transforms schools like investing in advanced teacher education. let's build a strong foundation.
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